Prayer: Holy God, your Word teaches and guides us; thank you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
7 In fact, to have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you.
How do you feel when you discover that you have been scammed? You know, you see something advertised and decide to buy it only to find that it does not measure up to what you believed it was. Or, even worse, when you give money to a cause and find out that none of the money you give goes for the purpose advertised but for some political purpose?
We see stories about professional panhandlers who earn a living by standing at a street corner with a “Homeless, Can you please help?” and then go home to their humble house at the end of the day. In our judgment some of these people are earning money under false pretenses. But our devotion writer and today’s text cause us to consider another position. How do we know enough about that “homeless person” to make an honest judgment? God presents us with an opportunity to help someone and we assume they are being dishonest?
Our devotion writer also knows that sometimes the money given is only spent on drugs or alcohol. Last I saw you can buy a hamburger for a couple dollars, but you can’t by much wine or whiskey, or drugs. Our devotion writer suggests; “If the money is wasted, that would be bad. But if I were so afraid of such misuse that I refused to help anyone, that would be worse. I would rather be scammed occasionally than live a life that never risks.” So one might ask am I being selfish or generous? Am I a judge?
Something to consider.
Prayer: “God of plenty, help us to share all you have provided. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
1 Corinthians 6:1-11
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Lawsuits among Believers
6 When any of you has a grievance against another, do you dare to take it to court before the unrighteous, instead of taking it before the saints? 2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels—to say nothing of ordinary matters? 4 If you have ordinary cases, then, do you appoint as judges those who have no standing in the church? 5 I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to decide between one believer and another, 6 but a believer goes to court against a believer—and before unbelievers at that?
7 In fact, to have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? 8 But you yourselves wrong and defraud—and believers at that.
9 Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, 10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And this is what some of you used to be. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.